As part of my ongoing series of Instagram home tours, today I am thrilled to welcome Maura Endres. Maura lives with her husband, four children (three will be in college next year), and two Newfoundlands just outside of Princeton, New Jersey. Her home is a basic cape, built in 1940, that she has designed to such perfection it rivals the work of any of today’s leading designers. When Maura isn’t busy inside the home, she dedicates her time to two important ministries – a soup kitchen in Trenton, New Jersey and an organization that helps serve the needs of seniors in her community. This talented lady is beautiful both inside and out! Let’s get to know more about Maura and take a peek inside her beautiful home…
Q: You have such exquisite taste, it is hard to believe you have no formal interior design training. How did you become interested in design, and where do you find inspiration?
A: First of all Andrea, I am flattered at your request to share my IG account with your readers, and for this chat today. Thank you! I guess you could say that my interest in design began in the loving home that I grew up in. Nothing fancy, but filled with personal touches and character. I always had an interest in the “Arts,” which is a major source of inspiration to me.
Q: How would you define your style?
A: That’s a good question! I never really embraced one particular style. I like simple lines, classic shapes, and interesting objects. I’ve always been attracted to “old” vs “new,” and if something does come into our home that is “new,” it is usually a reproduction piece.
Q: Who are your favorite designers – past and present – and what are your favorite interior design books?
A: Gosh, there are so many! Keeping it simple for you… past designer, Mark Hampton… Present designer, Bunny Williams. A short list of books that inspire me, and I revisit often are: Style By Saladino (John Saladino), Defining Luxury (Jeffrey Bilhuber), Decorating with Antiques (Caroline Clifton-Mogg), Point Of View (Bunny Williams), One Man’s Folly – Furlow Gatewood, Houses (Michael S. Smith), and Charlotte Moss Decorates… just to name a few.
Q: You have such a beautiful collection of antiques. What is the story behind them, and how do you so freshly mix the old with the new?
A: That book I mentioned above, Decorating with Antiques, is filled with lessons on mixing old and new. As for our collection, there are just a few really good antiques in our mix. Again, I usually buy simple lines that mix well with other styles or periods. They also never feel dated, and can be made to look current by a simple change of lamps or accessories.
Q: Can you please share your tips for collecting art and creating the perfect gallery wall?
A: We bought our first piece of art on our honeymoon (23 years ago) and have been collecting since then. Our thrift store pick-ups share the wall with antique oils, student works, and old landscape prints. I’d list consignment shops, auctions, and local art-fairs, as my favorite sources. In regards to the gallery wall, be prepared to add a few extra holes! Our living room gallery wall really needed to remain a bit neutral and have a defined color palette, as the dining room mural is right next door. I still fuss with it.
Q: How do you organize your extensive book and magazine collections? My house could use an intervention!
A: Our little library nook is at full capacity, so the stacks of books on tabletops is quickly growing. I try to keep all my design books in the living room, but there is no order to them what-so-ever. I update the round table seasonally for inspiration, so the gardening books will be coming out soon. I am fortunate to have a shallow case off our kitchen where all the magazines go.
Q: What are your favorite pastimes?
A: Spending time with family and friends, cooking, visiting galleries and museums, long walks, gardening in the summer, and sitting fireside in the winter with a big stack of books.
Q: Do you have a go-to, easy recipe that is perfect for a busy weeknight?
A: Since receiving Ina Garten’s latest cookbook for Christmas, my pantry will never be without the ingredients to make the “Italian white beans & escarole!” So simple and delicious. I could eat it as a entree, but just add some grilled chicken or steak and it would satisfy anyone.
Q: Please tell me about the murals in your dining room.
A: I walked into a Princeton Show House about six years ago and saw this mural painted in a hallway. I loved the style and palette. The artist brought her sample to my house and I knew right away it was perfect. She added a few personal touches that add to the story of the landscape. Harry, the fallen baby squirrel that my kids took care of, is immortalized on these walls.
Q: What inspired you to start your Instagram account? So many followers, myself included, love getting an inside glimpse into your beautiful world.
A: Well, to start, I really love taking pictures, and it was a blog I was reading one day that showed pictures from someone’s account that peeked my interest. As a shelter magazine junkie, IG became another source of inspiration to me, and sharing my home just started to happen. I will also say that I started to think more about the home that I grew up in, and wished I had more photographs of the house and garden. We all have family albums with family pictures, but the surroundings are often overlooked, and not captured. I think my kids will enjoy looking back at these pictures one day.
Thank you, Maura, for welcoming us inside your home and for sharing more about yourself. What an inspiration! For more of Maura’s chic classic style, please follow her on Instagram.